When resort meets theme park
Set on Spain’s Costa Dorada, PortAventura isn’t so much a resort as a whopping great big theme park with hotels on the side. The place pulls in over 3 million visitors a year and it’s easy to see why. You’ve got a one-stop holiday here, with loads of white-knuckle rides, a waterpark and all-you-can-fit-in family entertainment.
Packed with rides
PortAventura Park is divided up into themed zones – so you could be watching a Wild West shoot-out one minute, and eating Mexican tacos the next. When it comes to the rides, you’ve got some major record-breakers here – Shambhala is the highest rollercoaster, and the fastest hypercoaster in Europe, while Furius Baco is the world’s speediest accelerator. Between corkscrews and loop-the-loops, you’ll get can-can shows, back-flipping acrobats and kids’ discos.
PortAventura takes care of everything – including the beach. There’s a manmade one at the lagoon of Bahamas Beach here. With palm trees for shade and reggae music filling the air, you can lie back and sunbathe Caribbean-style. If you want the real deal on the sand front, though, the resorts of Cambrils and Salou are only 15 minutes’ drive away.
Day trips to Barcelona
From here, you can easily get to Barcelona in an hour. The 2 top sights here belong to Gaudí – his unfinished cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, and the quirky Parque Guell. Elsewhere you’ve got the famous Las Ramblas with its line-up of florist stalls and restaurants, and Porto Olimpico – the city’s swanky marina. And of course wherever you go, the tapas are second to none.